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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

I was invited by fellow author Sarah Madison to participate in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop. As Sarah herself so aptly put it: "a sort of pyramidal branching hop where one person sends questions to five people, who post their questions to five people, who select another five people and post the following week, and so on and so on. I liked the idea of it—for one thing, I like blog hops. For another, it’s fun to see how different people answer the same questions."

Here's Sarah's own post last week.

And now for MINE...

What is the working title of your book?
CHASE THE ACE. It'll be available at Amber Allure in Dec as a novella and also as part of the "That Old Gang of Mine" Pax Collection.

It’s the name of a card game I used to play as a child. As my main character Dan tried to explain – clumsily! - to his new friend and travelling companion Nick, every player has one card dealt face down, for only them to see. The idea at the end of the round is for everyone to show their card and the highest one wins. But during the round, each person in turn takes a peek at their card, and has to decide whether to keep it or swap it with the next player. Even if it’s a high card, they don’t know if the next player has a higher! And if they decide to risk it and swap, the next player *has* to accept it. They may be swapping for a better or worse scenario – but they all only get one go to change.

And why’s it called Chase the Ace? Because the Ace is the very lowest of the low – despite the gorgeous Ace of Hearts That Amber have put on my cover :).

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The theme of the Amber Allure Pax was “That Old Gang of Mine” and I loved the idea of a man seeking out his teenage friends, just to see how they’d done in life. Maybe one had really succeeded in business – or one had followed a dream – or one was thwarted, maybe even in emotional torment. It was fascinating to me to explore the idea that there could be so many different paths in life from the same original place.

And of course I had a bit of fun with poor Dan, when he’s first setting out on his Facebook trail!

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s my familiar M/M romance, with some sexiness thrown in for fun.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
Nick is definitely Patrick Dempsey :).
Dan - our hapless hero - is more like the gorgeous Ben Wishaw (who I'm casting as anyone and everyone at the moment *g*).

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Daniel’s seeking his old school friends, unprepared for a road trip full of surprise, show-business and secrets exposed – including those of his accidental companion, Nick.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
It'll be published by Amber Quill Press, from a direct submission by me to them.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took me a couple of months, despite a fairly firm outline at the beginning, because some of the characters kept demanding extra share of the narrative!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
I'd compare it to other contemporary dramas. It has a lightweight tone, and a fairly angst-free romantic theme, but it also touches on some more serious themes when Dan explores the different lifestyles of his gay friends. It's about men in today's world where so much of our lives are apparently out on view, but how it can be very different - and private - behind closed doors.

If I compared it to my other stories, I'd link it A Good Neighbor or Just-You Eyes.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A conversation with my Son about finding old friends on Facebook!

What else about your book might interest the reader?
It's something more than a sexy short, and hopefully a rewarding read. It's set in England - I'm really enjoying writing UK-based stories nowadays!

And I hope the characters and themes will stay in your mind long after reading :).

Thanks for reading!


And so who have I tortured tagged in response? Here are some of my fabulous fellow authors.
Watch out for their posts NEXT week!

Liam Livings
Charlie Cochrane
Katherine Halle
A. B. Gayle
Andrew Grey


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
That's one crazy hot cover!
Nov. 28th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
Isn't he cute?! And the whole design is really striking. I thought I'd like to share it, early :)
Nov. 29th, 2012 02:33 am (UTC)
Oh, this looks like great fun--I love the premise here and that cover is *gorgeous* :-)
Nov. 29th, 2012 10:52 am (UTC)
Many thanks for tagging me (though you know I don't usually like these things *g*) and for dropping by. I've been thrilled with every single cover from Amber so far - Trace Zeber is a fab artist :)
Nov. 30th, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
Well, you did a great 'interview' here! And I'm excited to read your list of bloggers next week too!
Nov. 29th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
Sounds good stuff. I can't decide whether I think Ben Wishaw is good looking. He's a touch too fey, if that's the right word, for me.
Nov. 29th, 2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean - he hasn't got regular good looks. But I remember thinking he was great in Criminal Justice and he looked just about the right age to play Kit in my book Freeman - the right balance of cheek and insecurity. And now he's turned up as Q, with a new cute haircut and all :)
Dec. 6th, 2012 11:01 am (UTC)
Sounds really interesting, Clare. I echo Charlie's comments about Ben Wishaw. Maybe it's the moustache. He reminds me of the Aussie actor, Noah Taylor, who appeared in the Lara Croft films. Good sidekick, not sure of him as a leading man. Interesting you see him as Kit. I'd pictured him as a blond.

It's funny how characters appear in your head when you're reading, that's why I prefer to choose the models for the cover early when writing.

Looking forward to the release of "Chase the Ace"
Dec. 6th, 2012 01:33 pm (UTC)
I see what you mean about the similarity to Noah Taylor. I found a strong thread of charisma in Ben W, which I think he's carried through performances in The Hour and Skyfall.

That's interesting about having pictures in mind before you start. I must try that in future. Sometimes I launch myself into writing a book before I've thought the details through. It's only when a publisher asks me to fill in a cover art form that I realise I often have NO IDEA what my character looks like in detail!
Dec. 6th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
But then it depends on your cover art department whether you can use them, and you would have to choose from the Stockphotos pile.
I've been checking with photographers to see how much it would cost to buy photos direct (and hence have exclusivity) and discovered the going price seems to be $500 a shot plus extra $100 for each edition. I assume that means if it's in print, audio, foreign translation. And that's just for one photo, so if there are two and artwork needed for background.... No wonder they use stock photos.
One of my L+L beta readers is aiming to create his own site for m/m stock photos next year. I think he plans to act as a filter for suitable images.

Edited at 2012-12-07 02:33 am (UTC)
Dec. 17th, 2012 08:01 am (UTC)
So I'm bad and never commented on this, but GAH what a hot cover!!! This sounds really good I'm gonna check it out :D Thanks for tagging me for this :D
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
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